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this hour, what is the democrats' game plan? dnc chairman, governor tim kaine, joins us. plus, a preacher's plan to burn the koran sparks anti-american protests overseas. well, now the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is sounding the alarm. good day, everybody. i'm norah o'donnell in today for andrea mitchell. and 56 days to go until election day and a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows republicans in a very healthy position for big congressional wins, unless democrats can energize the base. and of course, the major sticking point, the economy. let's get right to democratic pollster, peter hart, who helped conduct the poll for nbc and "the wall street journal." peter, god to the see you. let's first start about the mood of this country, on the wrong track now. 61% of americans concerned about where this country is heading. that is worse than the past two cycles when, of course, party
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controlled change in congress. what does that tell us? >> people are bleak. it's dark, and they're negative. and what it tells us more than anything else is there isn't confidence at this moment about where things stand. and people look ahead and they feel uncertain. they're uncertain about the economy. they're uncertain about where america's place is in the world. both of those things are hard if you're a democrat. it's hard if you're an incumbent. >> and peter, there is also this lack of confidence in the state of our economy. i mean, really stunning numbers. only 39% approve of obama's handling of the economy. that is the first time it has slipped before 40%. and look at this honorgraphic. what has happened with this president? is it a failure for them to communicate a positive message? >> well, i don't think it's the positive message. it's just the facts. i mean, people are out of work.
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they've been regaining in terms of the economy, but it's so far down. and there's better than one in four americans who somehow in the last couple of years have lost a job and have been unemployed. that's just a huge downer in terms of where things are at. so the sense of confidence about can we come back, only one in four voters actually think that a year from now the economy's going to be moving ahead. all of this is a heavy drag on the november elections. >> you mentioned, it's a downer. i heard someone use the phrase this weekend, an o-bummer. that's how people are feeling. and blaming the president for it. and we've always seen sort of this distinction between how people rate the president on policy and then on personal matters. and so, when i saw that his personal ratings have now dropped to 46%, that suggested to me that voters are really not only distrustful or dislike the president's policies, now it's
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personally. why is that? >> well, i think that the personal side actually still holds up, but i think it has gone down in part because of the policies and in part because of the uncertainty. but the one thing that is not true for this election is it is not a referendum on president obama. we ask that very question, and only 12% said the reason that they are voting for a republican is because they want to protest against the president. most people are either voting positively for the republican candidate or to protest washington and particularly the democratic congress. >> and so protesting washington may also mean changing control of both houses. we asked, of course, that question and republicans hold a nine-point advantage among most likely voters, registered voters, it's even. but most likely voters, it's a nine-point edge. i know chuck thinks that could
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mean a gain of 50 seats, which would be enough to give republicans control of the house. what do you think? >> well, i think it's very tough. and what it really comes down to is, do you try to persuade the middle or turn around and try to expand te elect rat? to me, as i look at the democrats' hopes, i think they'll have to expand the electora electorate. and that means a lot of people who don't usually vote in an off year to actually decide to go out and vote. that's the key. >> and any glimmer of hope in these poll numbers for either the president or the democratic party? >> well, the real glimmer of hope is that while they're unhappy with the current conditions, they don't like the republicans. their numbers are even worse than the democrats, in terms of the feelings about the two party. and when you test a republican message against a democratic message, neither is popular. and i think what people are saying is, we're going to hold our nose and vote this year, but i think both parties are being sent a message.
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it's not just a democratic message. >> pretty interesting. peter hart, our pollster, appreciate it. >> thanks, norah. in milwaukee yesterday, president obama went after republicans, who many inside the party argue will return the nation to bush-era policies if they regain congress. >> these are firsts whose policies helped devastate our middle class. they drove our economy into a ditch. and then they got the nerve to ask for the keys back. i don't want to give them the keys back! they don't know how to drive! >> well, our nbc news/"wall street journal" polls show that the "blame bush" strategy might not work. only 35% said the party would return to bush policies. 58% say republicans would offer different ideas. with us now, democratic chairman, former virginia governor, tim kaine. governor, good to see you. thank you so much for joining us. >> you bet, norah, glad to be
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back. >> i know you're familiar with what the president's message has been. he was on fire yesterday in milwaukee. you are going to be unveiling this midterm strategy tomorrow. what will it be? >> well, pretty much what the president was saying. that the electorate has a very clear choice between a democratic party that is doing the heavy lifting to turn an economy from negative, shrinking, to growing, move from losing jobs, 750,000 jobs a month to the private sector job growth in each of the last eight months. we're not where we want to be yet. we got a long way to go. so the question is, do you get there by continuing to climb or do you get there by handing the keys over to the other guys, the party that put us in the worst tailspin since the 1930s? that choice is a stark one and a clear one. it's going to be tough. midterms are always tough, especially when the economy's hard. but as voters start to make that choice, we think we're going to do a lot better than many are predicting. >> you're the chairman of the party. i know you acknowledge, of course, that headwinds are tough. we just went through this whole poll with peter hart.
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and we also see that it looks like the democratic base voters are just not that motivated. from our poll, those that want congress controlled by the -- those that are very interested in the midterms, look at that split. about 53% want republicans, 35% democrats. the less interested voters, 51% democrats. 31% republicans. what's with your party? why aren't they revved up and ready to go to the polls? >> well, i think that's actually what peter was saying earlier, is that we need to spend time on the, maybe the presidential voters who tend not to vote in presidential years. that would be a go ahead thing for small "d" democracy, but also good for our party, and we are. and we have a little bit of a perspective on polls. the gallup poll right after labor day in 2008 showed john mccain with a ten-point lead over president obama. i faced similar polling right after labor day in my year when i ran for governor. these are tough times and they're tough head winds and people are hurting. let's acknowledge that. but at the end of the day, when voters go into that ballot
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booth, they'll have to pick, do they want to put control into a party that many of the candidates are saying they want to privatize social security? they want to repeal wall street reform. they want to go back to the same policies that put us in a lost decade. i mean, a lot of people who aren't happy, but i don't meet a single person who says, hey, i want to go back into that lost decade we just got out of. >> i know you keep saying that, governor, but apparently those who voter who is believe that just don't seem motivated. we've already had four races in the past year, or whatever, since obama's election in 2008, the georgia senate runoff, in all four of those cases, the obama surge voters just didn't turn out to the polls. >> yeah, but you're omitting seven special elections in congress, including some in very republican districts where because of the strength of our ground game, democrats were able to win races that people thought we couldn't win. the pennsylvania 12 race being the most recent example. we are very heavily focused on kind of person-to-person
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get-out-the-vote strategies. i did two events in virginia this the weekend, labor day events, very energetic, excited crowds of democrats. look, we've got an awful lot of work to do over the next chunk of time. but we've seen polls like this before, and we're, you know, democrats are the underdog party. we're no stranger to running uphill. we feel like we've got a good ground team. the fund-raising's been strong. if you get out of the perspective side and just into what do economists say, for example, about what's happening with the economy, had the president obama and democrats not work single handedly, we would have been in a second depression by now. we've got a long way to go, but we'll only get there if we keep climbing. >> we were also listening to the white house briefing, and robert gibbs, the president's press secretary just admitted they wanted to spent a couple of months sharpening the president's message on the economy. once again, that line, you can't have the keys to the car back,
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you can't give them back to bush and bush-era policies. but somewhat of a warning sign in our own poll that this may not deliver the punch. 58% believe that republicans, if they take back control of congress, will have different ideas than bush, versus 35% who think they will return to bush's policies. how about that? some of the voters say, no, those in congress will have different ideas. do you want to rebut that? >> sure. i'll just use republicans' candidates language to rebut it. republican marquee candidates saying that unemployment compensation is unconstitution, or in pennsylvania case, ridiculing those that receive unemployment benefits. talking about dramatic changes to medicare and medicaid. questioning whether the civil rights act or the voting rights act should have been passed. you know, maybe it's wrong to say they want to go back to bush era. some of this is going back to hoover era or some are talking about changing the 14th amendment. it's james buchanan all over again.
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we've got a lot of interesting things to talk about between now and election day. acknowledging that it's all a challenge. but the question is, now that we've got this economy turned around and climbing again, for god's sake, let's keep climbing. let's not go back to the failed policies that put us in the lost decade. >> we've got an interesting two months ahead of us now that labor day is over. governor tim kaine, thanks for joining us. >> you bet. and president obama's so-called summer of recovery, some say it's been a bust. what are his options now? well, "the new york times'" sheryl gates stolberg and cnn's senior analyst, ron insana, join us next. and later, anti-muslim hate stoking anti-american anger overseas. why the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is firing off a warning. plus, state of emergency. fast-moving flames push thousands of people from their homes. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" right here on snbs. [ engine revving ] [ male announcer ] the u.s. government may soon require brake override technology on all new cars and trucks.
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we ought to educate everybody. and that's how we build america. that's been at the heart of what we've been doing over these last 20 months. building our economy on a new foundation, so that our middle class doesn't just survive this crisis, i want it to thrive. i want it to be stronger than it was before. >> it's a message the president has tried to sell almost on a daily basis. but as bad as the economy is, it's getting better. problem is, most americans aren't buying it. in fact, a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows nearly two-thirds of the public believe the country is in a state of decline. sheryl gay stolberg is a white house correspondent for "the new york times" and ron insana is cnbc's senior analyst. great to see both of you. thanks so much for joining us.
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sheryl, let me start with you. we talk about this state of decline, the opinion of the american people. the strong sense really of pessimism out there. and you write in the front page of "the new york times," the president trying to do something about it. putting forward this $50 billion transit plan. how's that going to make a difference? >> well, the president and the white house say that that could create jobs if congress approves it, beginning next year. now, that's a big if. i don't think that they're going to get a whole lot of republican cooperation on this. certainly not before this hotly contested midterm election. but the white house is really scrambling to try to find some way to give an infusion, a boost to the economy. and we all know that unemployment is still really high, above 9% and people are hurting. >> ron, you know the republicans have called this stimulus deja vu, this $50 billion, but isn't that just a drop in the bucket compared to the $800 billion stimulus. is it really that all over again? >> to a certain extent, norah, it's almost redundant in that a
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third of the stimulus has yet to be spent, and that third, that last third was supposed to focus on infrastructure or so-called shovel-ready jobs. so another $50 billion -- and that he, by the way, is the total capacity for the economy to absorb these types of infrastructure projects on an annual basis. it's slightly redundant. what i don't understand what this administration is why they don't just simply play economically and politically a much smarter game. where they drop the philosophical opposition to tax cuts, go ahead and extend the bush tax cuts for everybody forever and see what the republicans do there. go ahead and do a payroll tax holiday for workers, not for businesses. businesses have cash. you need to put money in people's pockets. >> so interesting, ron. so interesting that you say that, because i was just talking to administration officials on friday, and i said, if you're out of work or if you're suffering, what is giving a payroll tax break to businesses, why is that going to make you feel better? wouldn't it be better to have those employees get a payroll tax holiday?
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but i digress, but i do want to -- >> norah, you're right, it's a no-brainer. >> i want to get to what the president said yesterday, really painting the republican party as the party of no, no, no, no. listen. >> even on things we usually agree on, they say no. if i said the sky was blue, they'd say no. if i said fish live in the sea, they'd say no. they just think it's better to score political points before an election than to solve problems. >> ron, what about that? i mean, the republicans blocking, of course, the small business deal that the president wants to do, the republicans opposed, this infrastructure, $50 billion that the president wants to do. are they just the party of no? >> well, i would tag them more for having opposed the extension of jobless benefits, which in my
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estimation is unconscionable. this is not a disincentive to go to work, to get a couple hundred dollars a month when you've got kids you're trying to feed, you go ahead and dothat for as long as it takes. what the republicans can't say no to and what the white house keeps forgetting is that if they go along with republican ideas and they still say no to extending the bush tax cuts for everyone or a payroll tax holiday or something else that the republicans have anchored themselves too, he wins on both counts, economically and politically. and for some reason, that's just not philosophically possible, even though there's a good chance that they're going to lose very badly in the midterms. >> and sheryl, this $50 billion infrastructure plan that the president laying out, of course, needs congressional approval. what can the president propose in the next couple of months if anything that would sort of help jump-start the economy? >> well, you know, he is proposing in the next couple of days a couple of things like more tax breaks for businesses,
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extending the rnd tax credit, which is something that, frankly, has been a bipartisan idea. i'm pretty sure president bush proposed that. >> passed it, actually. >> passed it, right. and what you saw in that speech, norah, was the president trying to lay the groundwork to say, republicans are just the party of no, and they're going to say no, even to these moderate ideas that i'm putting forthrig right now, before the midterm election. he's trying to box them in a little bit. >> we talk about all these unmotivated democratic voters out there that are struggling, out of wok. if they hear the president talking about an extension of r&d tax credits, do you think that's going to send them to the polls? >> norah, they extend r&d tax credits every year. making them permanent that's been talked about since i've been in this business, but they roll them over every year, anyway, so they're always there. you've got to get people spending if you want companies to feel comfortable enough to
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hire permanent rather than temporary workers. and there's nothing on the table that will do that. >> really interesting discussion, sheryl and ron, as always, good to see you. thanks so much. >> thanks, norah. from the must-wins to majority makers and the landslides, up next, politico's john harris reveals the republicans' road map for taking back the house and what democrats need to do now to try to keep control. plus, did america's most famous flight attendant strike a deal to skip out on jail time? steven slater, yeah, buddy, gets his day in court. this is "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. ♪ yeah, we really do - ♪ and there's nothing wrong - [ bird squawks ] ♪ with what i feel for you ♪ i could hang around till the leaves are brown and the summer's gone ♪ [ announcer ] when you're not worried about potential dangers, the world can be a far less threatening place. take the scary out of life with travelers insurance... and see the world in a different light.
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republicans are riding a wave of momentum that may result in a house majority this november. they need 39 seats. there's a road map for the path to power. politico today outlines dozens of races that could play a role in a big change on capitol hill. well, politico editor in chief, john harris, joins us now. john, good to see you. >> hello, norah. >> this was a great piece. it was a very long piece?
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it was, yes, it was. 14 pages, if you print them out, as i just did. >> exactly, exactly. but very thorough. what you did hear was really break it down into three different categories. so the majority makers, the must-wins, and the landsliders. let's start with the must-wins, alan grayson from florida, jom bow cherry from ohio. those are ones that the republicans have to win those seats if they're going to win the majority. those look likely to switch hands, right? >> exactly. most of those must-win districts, there's anomalies taking place, that these were historically republican districts that democrats in 2006 and 2008 managed to pick those races up. so it's always an uphill climb. in the case of several of these districts, tom per helio in virginia is a great example. he cast votes that were unpopular in the district, such as cap and trade, the cap and trade energy proposal, really unpopular there in southwestern virginia, which is like a coal
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mining region. most of these must-win districts have things that really put the incumbent democrat at a steep disadvantage, a real uphill climb. >> let's talk about the majority makers, of course, the republicans that going to win the majority, they have to win seats like b.a.r.t. stupak. an open seat in michigan. david obey, wisconsin, that's an open seat, and there's, of course, real-world cast member, sean duffy, who's running in that particular seat. as you look at the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll out there and see how tough it is for the republican, what could they do to hang on to these seat qums >> the main thing to do is to localize it. say, hey, look, we know you're mad at washington. we know you don't like nancy pelosi. in many districts, barack obama is unpopular. but you do like congressman smith, you do like congressman jones. a lot of these members have been making it clear, they've been advertising the fact that they
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didn't go along with nancy pelosi on the health care vote, for instance. so they're trying to defy a national trend by making the issue a local choice. >> and then, of course, the landsliders, some incumbent examples. heath shuler in north carolina, jason altmeyer. we're likely going to see the president in pennsylvania. is it better for the president to be seen with some of these candidates or should these candidates, these democrats try and stay away from obama? >> well, it's a very careful calculation that most politicians are going to make on a case by case basis. in places where the democratic agenda is unpopular, obviously, they're not going to be wanting to be seen publicly with president obama, although in many cases, they're happy to have his help in fund-raising. but in other places, where turnout and exciting the democratic base is key, they may well want president obama.
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in most of these difficult races, he's not a public asset at the moment. >> john harris with politico, good to see you. thanks so much. >> see you soon. are things worse now than before the republican revolution of 1994? coming up, what our new poll results say about today's political environment. plus, bp on the hunt for answers in the gulf drilling disaster. that's right. they're hoping this 1 million pound mass of metal will provide some critical clues into what went wrong. this is "andrea mitchell reports," only on msnbc. we asks what they love about their allergy relief, and what it lets them do. the thing i love most about zyrtec® is that it allows me to be outside. [ male announcer ] we bet you'll love zyrtec®, too -- or it's free. [ vonetta ] it is countdown to marshmallow time. [ woman laughs ]
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time to take a look at today's headlines. colorado firefighters are taking to the air to attack a wind-driven wildfire that has chased some 3,000 people from their homes. calm winds are allowing them to use air tankers to dump fire retardant on the blaze, which has now spread to more than 3,500 acres. in chile, a team of nasa doctors is using their expertise to help keep 33 trapped miners safe and sane while they wait to
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be rescued. the effort includesing making sure they eat and sleep at regular times. the miners have been trapped for more than a month and may not be reached until christmas. and former jetblue flight attendant steven slater was in court today stemming from charges after that incident last month where he screamed at passengers and deployed the plane's emergency slide. the district attorney allowed slater to undergo a mental evaluation and counseling before deciding whether to seek jail time. now to the gulf, where investigators are waiting to get their hands on the largest piece of evidence yet, the 1 million pound blowout preventer. anne thompson the nbc's chief environmental affairs correspondent and she is live in new orleans. good day to you, anne. >> reporter: good afternoon, norah. the fbi has the blowout preventer in custody and it is slowly making its way to a nasa facility here in new orleans, where investigators will go over it, trying to find clues as to why the blowout preventer did
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not work on april 20th, and as a result, 11 people died on the deepwater horizon rig. and the gulf of mexico, parts of the gulf of mexico were covered in oil for months. they are going to focus on a couple of different areas. one is a control panel on the blowout preventer that when they tried to make it work manually after the fire started, they discovered it had been altered. and the question is, how was it altered and who approved those alterations? they'll also be looking at why a passive system called the dead man trigger did not work. that's a system that should be fail-safe. should work no matter what happens and we found out in congressional testimony that one of the batteries that should have act vivated the dead man trigger was dead at the time of accident. that's what investigators will focus on. we've also got two other pieces of news. one, bp will release its own internal investigation of what happened on the deepwater
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horizon rig on the night of april 20th. so it will be interesting to see what role it thinks the blowout preventer played in the accident. and also, just within the half hour, the federal government came out and said, they're finding no evidence of dead zones anywhere from about 3,300 feet to 4,300 feet in the gulf of mexico. norah? >> all right, anne thompson, thanks so much. good to see you. and today's nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows the political environment is worse now than it was in '94 or '06. let's get right to democratic strategist, bob shrum and msnbc political analyst, pat buchanan. all right, great to see both of you. first of all, given the numbers that we've seen today in the nbc news "wall street journal" poll, bob, this is going to be a landslide election, a big wave election? >> i'm not ready to say that. but i have to admit, i feel a little bit like pat did when we were sitting here in '06 having these same frconversations.
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democrats have a big problem. in fact, maybe we ought to abolish the month of august, because it doesn't go very well for us. the one good piece of news in the poll, is there's a tie among registered voters. young people are not showing up at all and they have a 73% approval rating for the president. i think the key to this is energizing the base. we're not going to do it by talking about infrastructure, by the way. >> or r&d tax credits. >> nobody ever marched to the polls under a banner saying infrastructure. but they might march to the polls under a banner saying social security, since representative paul ryan's proposed for the republicans to privatize it. >> you think young people are going to march to the polls about social security? >> oh, i think they are. this is about ideology and energizing people. i'll give you the other one, the bush tax cut. we ought to take on the bush tax cut, say, we want to extend it for everybody but the top. take the extra money from the top, don't have the government keep it, and give another tax cut for the next two years to the middle class. we've got to start doing things
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that have an ideological edge and draw some sharp dividing lines, like pat's boss, ronald reagan did, in 1982. >> i've been listening to democrats say the same thing for six months, we've got to start communicating our message better. >> i think that's right. while i'm not with those republicans that are already doing the big end zone dances all over the place, i do think if you had the election today, it would be a blowout. but i'm not sure where it will be eight or nine weeks from now. but the democrats have a terrible problem. they had a terrible august. the summer of recovery didn't occur and barack obama raced in to defend the ground zero mosque, which doesn't seem like a wise move in retrospect. but, you know, norah, i don't know what exactly they do. i do think this is not a bad idea that the president's come up with. if he's got these tax credits for business, at least he can lay those out there and say, look, the republican party a bunch of obstructionists, or do they want to work? he can sort of make the case
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there. but they've got a very tough hand to play. they kept getting bad cards dealt to them and the republicans got all these aces. >> but is the key, too, for the president to continue to run against bush given some of the highlights from the nbc/"wall street journal" poll. and savannah asked a very pointed question to robert gibbs today at the briefing. let's listen. >> it seems like voters are directly rejacketing the very argument that president have been making -- >> seem to be rejecting the very argument that republicans had both of the congressional committees made on nbc as well. i think pete sessions said very verbatim that we want to -- we want to return to those policies. >> that may be the case, but it seems voters don't know that. >> we will spend the next couple of months sharpening that argument if need be to ensure that people do. >> what about that, bob? >> i think going after bush right now just looks like an excuse. i've said this before. my view of the need to sharpen
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the message, which i have said, is that it's got to have some cutting edge ideologically. let's take social security, which we were laughing about before. 68% of people in that poll, including a vast majority of younger voters, say they're likely to vote against someone who's for privatizing social security. it was a very powerful argument, as pat will recall in 1982, when tip o'neill and the democrats made it. it could be a very powerful argument today. the president made a little bit of it the other day. but we've really got to go out there with a couple of sharp, simple messages, and that's the only way back for us, i think. >> pat? >> the social security thing, i don't think, norah, people don't really believe that republicans are going to try to privatize social security. >> well, they did. >> i know paul ryan's got a proposal out there and i know what rand paul believes. it ain't going to happen. but the problem with the bush thing is, people believe bush did drive the car into the ditch, but the car's now deeper in than it ever was. obama said he was going to get it out. they haven't got it out.
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and people look at these republicans and they're all repudiating bush too. the argument's not working, norah. if it's not working, you move on to something else. >> can i ask you, one, quickly, obama yesterday, there was something he said that caught my ear. him talking about how the republicans have been treating him like a dog. listen. >> and over the last two years, that's meant taking on some powerful interests. some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in washington for a very long time, and they're not always happy with me. they talk about me like a dog. that's not in my prepared remarks, it's just -- but it's true. >> schrum, you're a speechwriter. you likely like that. "they talk about me like a dog"? >> i think he needs a lot sharper bite when he comes to
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the message. >> what does he mean, that they're disrespectful? >> that whatever he proposes, they basically reject. i could use another phrase, but i'm not going to use it. they basically reject it. but he's got to get out there. this whole idea we're going to hide obama and localize elections, localizing means losing. we've got to get out there with a national message that has some cutting edge. we'll lose seats like reagan did in '82, but we've got the fight back. >> the problem he's got, norah, the president says the republicans are the party of no. we've been running ads all day from democrats saying, i voted no on health care, i voted no on the stimulus package, i voted no, i voted against obama. you've got democrats out there reinforcing the republican message and contradicting obama's own message. >> and a lot of those blue dogs are going to lose, by the way. because you can't do it that way. >> bob shrum, pat buchanan, as always, a fiery debate. thanks so much, appreciate it. coming up, anti-muslim protests now growing ahead of the 9/11 anniversary.
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well, now general petraeus, he's joining the debate. plus, fighting genocide in the sudan. author and human rights activist john printergas joins us. no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks, but it's just the beginning of our work. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone
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in your hand, talk to your doctor. call 1-877-904-afib today. the florida pastor who plans to burn korans on the anniversary of 9/11 is responding to general petraeus' concerns that an international burn a koran day could endanger american troops. pastor terry jones says the event will go on, nonetheless. >> if out of this some type of retaliation should take place, we are deeply, deeply sorry for that. if people should lose their life, that would be tragic. still, i must say that we feel that we must sooner or later stand up to islam. and if we don't, it's not going to go away. >> well, the koran burning event is one example of the heightened animosity directed at the
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anti-islamic community. let's start with some of the poll numbers. the overall opinion of muslims, very or mostly favorable, 53%. very or mostly unfavorable, 28%. and then, do you support or oppose the new york city mosque near ground zero? 51% oppose. and yet, this building animosity, just before the anniversary of 9/11. >> reporter: yeah, it really is building into something, as you say, can be very difficult and potentially dangerous. words are one thing, and words have been a lot in this debate, as it's intensified, norah. it's not just terry jones down in gainesville, florida. it's another pastor, bill keller, coming up here to new york in the last couple of days saying that all of muslims should burn in hell. anybody who supports the mosque will burn in hell. that the whole religion is a lie. it's pam geller and her block at the shrug. other people who just cavalierly refer to the mosque and the
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religion in derogatory terms. a pga hall of fame golfer who is saying this is a christian country, muslims should set up their mosques in countries that are not christian. go away, go away soon. these are all words in the last few days. so this now talk about burning the korans and having a bonfire is attracting a number of people who have sent korans down to gainesville. >> and this deep distress that the american people has in government institutions, in congress, all of these things. one of the last few groups that is still held in high esteem is the military. and so i thought it was particularly poignant that general petraeus has spoken out on this very issue saying this type of rhetoric, these types of actions could engage our troops overseas. and yet that pastor says, i'm still going to go the ahead and do it. >> i wonder, what if any impact that's going to have on the people we've seen all afternoon, there's a painting doing right now of someone pouring salt in a
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wound. there's very strong, emotional reaction to building this mosque right here. i talked to three muslim men last night, interviewed them. and they said, look, mohammad said if a mosque is not welcome, we should not build it. if we're not wanted, we should not build it. and the face of intractable opposition is not islamic, not the right thing to do. this debate is very, very intense right now and potentially dangerous as well. >> mike taibbi, as always, good to see you. thank you for that. violence is once again on the rise in the darfur region of africa. more than 40 people have been killed in clashes there in recent days. john pendergast is cofounder of enough project. his latest book is called "the enough moment," and it's co-written with oscar-nominated actor, don cheadle. in a place where there is so much evil, darfur, and there has been, you talk about in this
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book some hope. what are you seeing? >> well, there's the hope on our side of the atlantic and hope on the other side. the hope on our side is that in an unprecedented way, people have come together, all over the united states and around the world, in support of people that they'll never meet in a place that they'll never visit. who even heard of darfur ten years ago? people have come together as part of a movement, a human rights movement, to try to make the situation better for a long-suffering people. in darfur, in sudan, we have a situation in which the government there, it's not iran, it's not north korea. there is mainly ability there, diplomatically. we could help solve that war if we invested the resources to try to bring about a solution at the negotiating table as opposed to in the battlefield. >> and, of course, in darfur, genocide, human rights violations, and of course, the most heinous crimes committed against women. you wrote an op-ed in "the wall
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street journal" last year entitled, obama is still awol in s sudan. you said, without clear direction from the president, internal policy battles among officials have spilled out into public view. the divided u.s. policy is harming international efforts to achieve peace in sudan. why is that? this is a president who was very early on in the senate, of course, very involved in darfur. >> and remains so, internally. but i think what we need now, and we'll have the chance at the united nations general assembly for president obama to demonstrate this, we need some leadership publicly in which he spells out a very clear road map for how the united states can be part of a solution in sudan. you know, the rest of the world, quite frequently, waits to see what the u.s. is going to do with respect to some of these second-tier issues, these second-tier foreign policy challenges. in the case of sudan, the united states is a major actor.
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it's a country that the sudanese on all sides take very seriously. so, if we come in with a lot of leverage with incentives and pressures as they call them that might help bring about a peace deal, that will be noticed on the ground. that's what we're waiting for president obama to do. >> i know in the book you have interviews with celebrities who have been acted to move, sheryl crow, angelina jolie, and ann curry has done great reporting there and mia farrow, john pender gaspend pend pendergast, thank you? >> thank you, norah. follow the show online at and on twitter. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. what do you say we get the look we want, the soft feel we need, and have it stand up to anything we throw at it. then let's get it installed,
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and which political story will make headlines in the next
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24 hours? chris cillizza is author of "the fix" blog. what's the big news? >> norah, a lot of people focused on president obama in cleveland tomorrow, rightly so, talking about the economy. but keep an eye on hillary clinton here in washington, council on foreign relations talking about the obama view, the administration's view, on our view, america's role, in the world community. it will get a lot less attention but it may be more important in the long run as barack obama looks to 2012 and possibly beyond. this is an important speech to remember. secretary of state clinton is not just a cabinet member, she's also the person that president obama beat in the primary, so anytime she talks about the administration views, it's interesting. >> big moment certainly for the secretary of state, and from that lady gaga in washington, d.c.? >> great segue. and who is one of her biggest fans? this blew my mind. >> frank lautenberg may not be known to many listeners. the 87 -- you heard that right -- 87-year-old proving
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that music ageless. he'll be there tomorrow night like all politicians raising money, whether he'll have a gaga-inspired outfit on is what i'm looking to find out. >> are you a gaga fan, chris? >> she's just madonna, right. i keep saying that and that makes me feel old. >> it's good workout music. chris cillizza good to see you. >> thanks, norah. that does it for "andrea mitchell reports." and tomorrow, jane harman back from afghanistan, and the "atlantic's" jeffrey goldberg, and andrew ross sorkin. 7 here's tamron hall with a look at what's coming up next on mjs. the new nbc/"wall street journal" poll backs up that the democrats are in trouble. and it's a mad as hell day,
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happening this month, who are they targeting and why? and norah, you mentioned lady gaga, take a look at this picture of her. what is she wearing? here it is. it's meat. i couldn't even tease it. i have to let you know. why is she wearing meat? we'll talk about it in "the scoom. jr" and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. before weight watchers, my world was can't. can't eat this. can't do that. can't lose weight. but on weight watchers, i can. weigh less than i did in high school. can.
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for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. that means working with communities. we have 19 centers in 4 states. we've made over 120,000 claims payments, more than $375 million. we've committed $20 billion to an independent claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. we'll keep looking for oil, cleaning it up if we find it and restoring the gulf coast. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone and the people and businesses are back to normal... until we make this right.
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i'm tamron hall right now on msnbc, president obama said his critics in washington, quote, talk about him like a dog. but meanwhile, the message he's talking about economic recovery is not working. new poll numbers show americans are not satisfied with the job he's doing on the economy. how can he change those numbers? we'll look at it. more 3,500 colorado residents flee their homes as wildfires close in, but in 24 hours, listen to this, the flames have already destroyed dozens of homes. the weather, though, may be giving firefighters a break.

Andrea Mitchell Reports
MSNBC September 7, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Obama 9, Washington 7, Andrea Mitchell 6, Darfur 6, Sudan 5, Msnbc 5, New Orleans 4, Ron 4, Afghanistan 3, Mexico 3, Bp 3, Virginia 3, Florida 3, Peter Hart 3, Tim Kaine 3, John Harris 3, Barack Obama 2, Sheryl 2, Pennsylvania 2, Milwaukee 2
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